Hip Bursitis Treatment

Home 9 Specialties 9 Hip 9 Hip Bursitis

A bursa is a small sac filled with fluid that eases rubbing and friction between your joints, and helps them move. There are over 150 bursae located all throughout your body, but they are most commonly found in the major joints like the shoulder, hip, knee and elbow. Several can be found near the femur (the thigh bone), and one covers the bony point of the hip bone called the great trochanter. Another bursa in the inside of the hip (the groin) is called the iliopsoas bursa. If you’re feeling pain in your hip, your bursae may be inflamed, a condition called bursitis. Inflammation of the great trochanter is called trochanteric bursitis while the inflammation of the groin is technically hip bursitis, but they are treated similarly.

Bursitis can be caused by a number of different things. Overexerting your body during exercise and repetitively stressing your body, a hip injury, rheumatoid arthritis, spine diseases (like scoliosis) or even something like leg inequality where your legs aren’t the same length are some of the possible causes. Bursitis is most commonly seen in women and the middle-aged, but can affect anyone if they stress their body too much. It can be felt as an aching pain in the outer hip, and can extend as far as the thigh towards the knee. Pain can worsen as you move or put pressure on your hip, and can cause problems when sleeping at night.

In order to diagnose bursitis, your doctor will perform a physical examination to check for tenderness in the specific area of your pain. They may also use additional tests like X-rays or bone scanning to rule out any other possible injuries.

Fortunately, bursitis usually doesn’t need to be treated with surgery, and can be cured with simple lifestyle changes. Your doctor will probably recommend rest so as to not strain the area, and you may need to take a break from exercising or any competitive sports you participate in. Initial treatment may also include icing the said area, and taking anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) as pain relief; this regimen is often effective enough to alleviate most cases.

After the rest period, then you can start to exercise again. Physical therapy can prescribe exercises that strengthen your hip and lower back, and help regain flexibility. If these measures aren’t enough for your hip pain, your doctor may give you an injection of corticosteroids for rapid relief. An injection can provide either permanent or temporary relief, but if the pain persists, another injection after a few months may be recommended; however, too many shots can cause damage to the surrounding tissues.

If the pain still won’t go away after months and every other treatment has been tried, you may have to resort to surgery. Surgery for bursa removal is rarely needed, but in severe cases, the bursa may have to be removed. Fortunately, the hip can function without the bursa if this is the case. A new method of surgery that is gaining popularity is using the arthroscope to remove the bursa in a non-invasive manner — so even if your bursa must be removed, the repercussions are minimal.

In order to prevent bursitis, we recommend to:

  • Stretch your hip muscles before any kind of exercise or activity
  • Practice good posture
  • Avoid repetitive movements that strain your hips
  • Cushion your joints, like using cushion chairs or extra hip support while sitting or sleeping

To learn more about Hip Bursitis treatment options in the Fort Myers, Estero and Naples area, contact Orthopedic Center of Florida.

Meet our Hip Doctors:

John A. Berra, DO

John A. Berra, DO

Fellowship Trained Orthopedic SurgeonOrthopedic Services and Sports Medicine SpecialtiesHip[button...

read more
Mark E. Farmer, MD

Mark E. Farmer, MD

Fellowship Trained Fort Myers Orthopedic SurgeonOrthopedic Services and Sports Medicine SpecialtiesShoulder[button...

read more
Ed Gomez, MD

Ed Gomez, MD

Board Certified Orthopaedic SurgeonOrthopedic Services and Sports Medicine SpecialtiesShoulder[button...

read more
David Heligman, MD

David Heligman, MD

Board Certified Orthopaedic SurgeonOrthopedic Services and Sports Medicine SpecialtiesShoulder[button...

read more